This weekend we greatly enjoyed the following films:
THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM
THE MIST – Frank Darabont’s adaptation of the titular Stephen King Novella. I always loved this apocalyptic story about a small town supermarket beset by other dimensional beings hiding within a supernatural mist and was reluctant to see it subjected to the Hollywood treatment – partly due to the obvious desire to fill it with CGI muppetry and a possible cop-out ending. I was relieved to see that the CGI wasn’t too painful, the spider and Cthuluesque sequences were outstanding, and the film actually has an outstanding downer ending. Not one that I agree with, but kudos for the cojones to try and get away with it. Pity about the made-for-tv feel…. However, I will definitely be watching this one again and again even if the religious fanatic character winds me up and the rest of the characters are fairly forgettable also – apart from the bus boy marksman played by Toby Jones.
THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM – Ever wondered what Jet Li and Jackie Chan would be like in a film fight? then see this Kung Fu NEVERENDING STORY / LAST ACTION HERO style action flick about a boy who uses the power of a magic staff to save him from a fatal bullying incident and transport him to a fantastic realm where he must use the staff to free the Monkey King. Jackie Chan plays one of the drunken masters and Jet Li plays a monk – their battle over the staff is the highlight of the entire film. There of course the usual stock character roles and training sequences, but the action makes up for the pedestrian story devices.
WANTED – a cracking if not preposterous action flick about an accounts manager who is rescued from mediocrity to be recruited by an ancient secret society of assassins to avenge his father’s death. The action is totally unbelievable but highly enjoyable. A refreshing amount of caps are tapped in this film, including some stars who you would not expect to be action flick fodder. I couldn’t really believe James McAvoy in the lead action role, but he was capable as usual.